I know that today is Monday and yes I am still basking in the experience of my favorite day of the week – Sunday. It was youth Sunday and is generally the Sunday where I find myself babysitting the small children in the choir. Not today.  The teens were well-behaved, the youth newsletter that I coordinate and type for the youth was handed out and well received and the singing – well not yet up to choir status; however the energy level was much, much better.  Slowly but surely things are a’changing.

The Reverend who delivered the message Sunday morning – delivered it well and to my understanding –  it was understood.  He preached from Jonah which is a real small book of the Bible; only 4 chapters.  The story of Jonah has been told and re-told, depicted in movies and in children’s books and in artwork.  I am sure you are familiar, Jonah gets swallowed by a fish because he does not obey the word of the Lord.  He doesn’t want to do as he was told, he wants to go in an entirely different direction – sounds like someone you know?   Jonah was told to go to Ninevah to preach against the wicked city and instead he went to Joppa, got on the first boat sailing to Tarshish, which is the entire opposite direction of Ninevah.  He didn’t want to go to Ninevah because I think he thought it was just going to be too hard to change these evil people and, who was he to even try. Normally in this book, there is a great deal of emphasis on the fish, a whale presumably, swallowing Jonah and then he has a religious experience and the whale spits him out.  As I think about it right now, it reminds me of all of the prisoners that are in prison that find the Lord – when enclosed and confined, many people are able to find the Lord – in solitude.  Or something amazingly close – the find their inner voice and have an aha moment that regardless of where you go there you are; and if all you are is all there is, what is the point. Believing in something higher to guide you on a path of “better”, has to be far more comforting than believing that there isn’t anything else left – so God by default wins.

Well, the insight that I was given on this  Sunday morning profoundly affected me.  The Rev. said and I quote (I wrote it down) “when you don’t carry out your assignment you will have a Jonah experience.”  Read it Jonah 1. He said, “Jonah jeopardized the lives of innocent people;  the people in the ship that he was in and the people in Ninevah that he was told to go to and save.  This is what happens when you don’t carry out His assignment, others are affected.”  I was in the choir stand with the teens, I was writing and when I heard these statements – I stopped and put down my pen and smiled. It hit me like a ton of  bricks. It said to me that regardless of what you do in life, good, bad or indifferent – your actions directly affect all those with whom you come in contact. Whether it be your family, friends, coworkers, strangers you see in the store and those you drive near on the freeway.  Our actions always have an effect on those in our environs.  When it comes to our children we must model fruitfulness and committed purpose in order for them to be able to have same.  When we drive our cars we must make sure to pay attention so that our car remains in our lane and off the curb so as not to cause injury to another and when writing and speaking we must always be aware that words are power.  These power words affect and effect those within our reach – both physically and through the cable and air waves.  Sunday morning is my time of confinement – a self-imposed time of confinement. Here is where I am able to sit and allow the music and the message to engulf me.  In the walls of this place called church I am able to commune with the Lord in the way that fulfills me.  His Spirit comes down and bathes me in a warm glow.  These are the Sundays I look forward to, one where a message is delivered just for me. These message filled Sundays they make my Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturdays palatable.  The scripture stays with me and keeps my head on straight and my mind stayed on Jesus. 

 Yolande Barial
Your Words Project: Speaking on Purpose

Seeks to Enrich the Lives of Women through Spoken and Written Word.

“Through her inspirational writings and spiritual poetry, Yolande Barial empowers women of all ages to be on purpose.”


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